Summer is not complete without at least one great potato salad experience. In this one, the lusty flavors of grilled beef mingle with earthy potatoes, crisp radishes and smoky bacon. With a green salad and some corn on the cob, you'll have an excellent meal for any summer occasion.
Wine recommendations: Choose a red wine with restrained, even subdued tannins, a bit of smokiness and moderate fruitiness. Delas Frères 2001 Côtes du Ventoux, a Gigondas or other Southern Rhône wine or a California Syrah are good bets. Beer—preferably a red ale without overpowering hops—is a great accompaniment also.
8 large garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 flank steak (about 1Â¼ pounds)
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed clean but not peeled
4 bacon rashers
2 shallots, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Â½ teaspoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons minced fresh Italian
Â½ cup olive oil
2 bunches radishes, trimmed and
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 ounces small Blue Lake green beans, or other thin, fresh green beans, blanched until just tender
Put two-thirds of the garlic in a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons salt and several turns of black pepper, and mix thoroughly. Rub the mixture into the flank steak, set it on a plate, cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and as long as overnight. Set the remaining garlic aside or put it in a small bowl, cover it and refrigerate until ready to use.
About an hour before serving the salad, remove the steak from the refrigerator and prepare a charcoal fire (if using).
Cook the potatoes in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until they are tender but not mushy, about 12 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
While the potatoes cook, make the vinaigrette: Cook the bacon in a medium-sized skillet until it is crisp. Transfer to paper towels, reduce the heat, add the shallots to the bacon drippings, and simmer until they are limp and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and 3 tablespoons of the Italian parsley, and simmer 1 minute more. Add the olive oil and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
If using a stove-top or propane grill, heat it now. Crumble the bacon and set it aside.
Drain the potatoes thoroughly, let them cool slightly, slice them thinly, and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the red onion, radishes, the green beans and about half of the dressing; toss lightly but thoroughly. Transfer to a large serving platter.
Grill the steak until it is just rare, about 5 to 6 minutes per side, or a bit longer for medium rare. Transfer the meat to a work surface, let rest 5 minutes, and cut crosswise and at an angle into diagonal slices. Arrange the steak over the salad, heat the remaining vinaigrette, and spoon it over the steak. Scatter the crumbled bacon and the remaining tablespoon of parsley over the top. Serve immediately.